The Strategic Triangle That Is Changing The World

Authored by Federico Pieraccini via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

While the world continues to decipher, or digest, the new Trump presidency, important changes are afoot within the grand strategic triangle that lies between Russia, Iran and China

Away from the current chaos in the United States, major developments are progressing, with Iran, Russia and China coordinating on a series of significant moves crucial for the future of the Eurasian continent. With a population of more than five billion people, constituting about two-thirds of the Earth's population, the future of humanity passes through this immense area. Signaling a major change from a unipolar world order based on Europe and the United States to a multipolar world steered by China, Russia and Iran, these Eurasian states are carving out a leading role in the development of the vast continent. As part of the challenges faced by these leading multipolar countries, the disruptive events originating in the post-WWII Euro-Atlantic world order will need to be tackled.

Looking at major projects within the Eurasian continent, one thing that stands out is the role of China, Russia and Iran in different areas under their influence. The One Belt, One Road project proposed by Beijing (investments of around one trillion dollars over the next ten years); the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) advanced by Moscow to integrate the former Soviet republics of Central Asia; and Iran's role in Middle East aiming to bring stability and prosperity to the region – all are central to Eurasian development. Of course, being multipolar, all these projects fully converge, requiring concerted and joint development for the overall success of the Eurasian continent.

In this sense, the areas of greatest turmoil include areas that fall under the sphere of influence of these leading Eurasian states. The main concentrations of upheaval can be easily identified in the Middle East and North Africa, not to mention the area of ??the Persian Gulf, where Saudi Arabia's criminal war against Yemen has now continued unabated for the past 24 months.

Islamic terrorism, a source for cooperation.

The common source of instability for the Eurasian continent stems from Islamic terrorism, deployed as an instrument of division and conflict. In this sense, the Saudi and Turkish role in nurturing and spreading Wahhabism as well as the Muslim Brotherhood means that they are directly opposed to the stability of the Chinese, Russian and Iranian sphere. With the full financial support of China, and military support of Russia, Tehran’s role in the region unsurprisingly becomes decisive. Iran is the country in which Sino-Russian influence is manifested at all levels in the region and beyond. The deterioration of the military situation in Syria has nevertheless obliged Moscow to intervene militarily in support of Syria, a key regional ally of Iran, but also provided a perfect way to counter Saudi-Turkish influence in the region. The growing Shia crescent linking Iran, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon is vital for retaining the influence of a multipolar world in the region. Washington has thus far been able to dictate matters through the actions of Saudi Arabia and Turkey, its regional cat’s paws, whose interests often align with that of Zionist elements, neoconservative and Wahhabi, that exist within the US deep state. Of course, Washington seeks to preserve the unipolar world order through its regional allies, aiming to remain the ultimate arbiter of Middle Eastern affairs, an area reverberating with instability from the Persian Gulf to North Africa.

It is no wonder, then, that Moscow has sought to establish a special relationship with the post-Morsi (Muslim Brotherhood) government in Egypt, which will curtail the Saudi-American influence on Cairo and North Africa, especially following the destruction of Gaddafi's Libya. Al Sisi’s signals are encouraging, representing one of clearest examples of a multipolar world in the making. Egypt accepted Saudi funding during the time of highest tension between Doha and Riyadh, an obvious moment of weakness on the part of Cairo, especially after the coup that removed Morsi, who was supported by Qatar, Turkey and the United States. Yet in recent times, Egypt has been happy to cooperate with Moscow, especially in regard to arms. (The purchase of two Mistral ships from France assumes the further purchase of weaponry from Moscow; the same is the case with nuclear-energy development as an alternative to the massive importation of oil from Saudi Arabia, which was suspended by Riyadh following the commencement of dialogue between Cairo and Damascus). Egypt seeks a strategic positioning in the region that winks at the Russo-Sino-Iranian triangle (talks on Egypt joining the EAEU have been in the air for quite some time), although not completely ruling out the economic contribution of Saudi Arabia and the United States. On the contrary, the influence of Turkey and Iran is rejected and declared hostile, mainly because of the continuing relationship with the Muslim Brotherhood, a major concern in the Sinai.

Stability in the Middle East and North Africa relies on an expansion of Iran’s mediating role; important financial contributions from the People's Republic of China (take a look at the situation in Libya and the reconstruction in Syria); and military cooperation with the Russian Federation. The importance of focusing on these areas of the globe can not be overstated, representing the first steps towards a more fundamental restructuring of the world order in different parts of the Eurasian landmass.

Caucasus, Central Asia and Afpak: Syria as a case study.

Often when looking at the danger posed by political Islam and Wahhabi extremism, three key areas of the Eurasian continent are usually under consideration: the former Soviet republics of Central Asia; the complicated border between Afghanistan and Pakistan; and the Caucasus area. In these areas, cooperation between China, Russia and Iran is once again playing a key role, seeing many attempts to mediate tensions and conflicts that would potentially be catastrophic for economic-development projects. The recent terrorist attacks in Pakistan in Lahore showed the true face of cooperation between Afghanistan and Pakistan, strongly encouraged by China and Russia. Shortly after a brief exchange of fire between the militaries of Afghanistan and Pakistan on their common border, an agreement was reached between Kabul and Islamabad to reduce tensions and advance the peace talks heavily sponsored by Moscow and Beijing. The need to halt the escalation of tensions between Pakistan and Afghanistan is one of the primary focuses of Russia and China in what is one of the most unstable regions of the world and what are transit lines for future projects led by the China-Iran-Russia alliance. The instability of this particular area depends largely on the role that India, Saudi Arabia, the US and Turkey intend to play to counterbalance the Eurasian trio. It is not at all coincidental that Moscow is trying in various ways to reach a complex understanding with each of these players. Saudi Arabia and Turkey are the center of control and administration for international terrorism, Riyadh and Ankara’s negative influence being felt from Syria and Libya through to Pakistan, Afghanistan and the Caucasus. The determining factor is not always the United States, though Washington naturally encourages all kinds of destructive efforts directed against the integration of the Eurasian continent.

Syria appears to be the first point of understanding reached on paper between Turkey and Russia, and could, if it obtains a positive outcome to the conflict, represent a foundation on which to build a strategic cooperation in areas like Afpak and Central Asia. In this sense, the energy-corridor incentives represented by pipelines, of which Russia is the main player, should not be underestimated, as in the case of the Turkish Stream. Also in the Caucasus, another area of extreme instability, the role played by Russia and Iran was decisive during the four days of war in Nagorno-Karabakh.

The energy factor is certainly a big incentive for Saudi Arabia, which has long observed energy diversification with interest by focusing on civilian nuclear power, something of which Russia is a world leader. Moscow plays its cards variously by providing military and economic cooperation to its closest partners (Iran, China, Syria, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan); strengthening bilateral alliances through the incentive of cooperation in weapons systems (India, Pakistan and Egypt); and energy cooperation with seemingly distant nations (UAE, Qatar, Saudi Arabia) in order to pry open a breach through which to gather broader geopolitical arrangements.

The overall strategy of the three leading Eurasian nations aims primarily to strengthen the national borders of the countries with the most turbulent regions. Putin's recent trip to Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan aims to strengthen the soft underbelly of the Russian Federation, eliminating the threat and influence of radical Islamic terrorism in order to allow for the expansion of economic cooperation in the Eurasian Union. While not an easy task, it is certainly encouraged by the prospect of mutual gain for the nations involved, with mutually agreeable bilateral agreements in the place of diktats. In a sense, it is what the People's Republic is attempting to establish in Central Asia, one of the most volatile regions of the world, endeavoring to reach agreements and expand its pool of energy resources as occurred recently in Turkmenistan. Another example of the reduction of threats to the Eurasian landmass can be seen in the Xinjiang province, which China has focused on as an area that needs an easing of socio-political tensions, in the interests of obviating outside efforts to destabilize China, directed mainly from Turkey through its partner Turkmenistan.

The Indian role in this context is more difficult to understand, compressed within an anti-Pakistan and anti-Chinese sentiment, as well as a subjection to the United States, together with good historical friendship with the Russian Federation. The role of New Delhi in this part of the world is the most indecipherable, seeing India’s (inscrutable) efforts to advance its own strategic goals. The strategic importance of Moscow and Tehran are essential in balancing the Indian position. Historically India was an important ally of the USSR, and India militarily continues to advance important military projects with the Russian Federation. In recent years, the Islamic Republic of Iran has greatly contributed to the Indian diversification of energy supplies. The fact that Tehran is a privileged partner of Beijing shows what a multipolar world looks like, and also helps to balance the anti-Chinese sentiment deeply rooted in the Indian establishment. In this case, Russia and Iran are clearly playing a mediating role between China and India. The fact that India and China are both important gas customers of Iran, as well as the fact that both China and India are cooperating with Russia on a military base, helps understand how Moscow and Tehran are cutting out Washington and diluting the anti-Chinese sentiment in India.

The tensions that Washington fans in India is increasingly being doused, not least because it is at odds with India’s need to create a stable business environment for development without precluding any opportunity for partnership. The most difficult challenge is the peace process between Afghanistan and Pakistan, which goes against Indian geopolitical interests that are aligned with the American position in the region. To mitigate this situation, strong joint cooperation is required. The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) will try to implement a framework within which to discuss and reach all-inclusive agreements between the parties involved. Once again, a regional discussion between Eurasian powers does not include the old world order of the US and Europe.

The role played by China and Russia in Central Asia can not be overstated, because of the importance of the potentially available energy resources. This is not to mention the future cooperation between the two gigantic economic areas, such as with the European Union and Asia, that will transit through Central Asia, transforming the Eurasian Union into a golden bridge linking Europe and Asia. At the moment, the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) is an organization like the SCO that tends to prioritize the fight against terrorism; but increasingly it is seen as offering a place for discussion, an organization that offers a path toward economic cooperation by first laying down the necessary foundation of territorial stability. In this area of ??the globe, economic prosperity depends heavily on social, political and military stability.

After all, this is the great challenge that Russia, China and Iran are facing, namely to de-escalate the hot zones (Middle East, Persian Gulf and North Africa) by eradicating the terrorist problem, and preventing the escalation of tensions in neighboring regions lying immediately within their sphere of influence (the Caucasus, Afghanistan-Pakistan and Central Asia), thus avoiding destructive destabilization.

It is only once an international framework is in place that these areas will see the stability that will allow for the deep and wide-ranging economic cooperation that will be of historic significance. In this sense the entry of India and Pakistan into the SCO was the first step of a complicated deal led by China and Russia that covers a dozen nations. The same situation can be observed with the future entry of Iran into the SCO, with the specific objective of expanding the influence of the SCO in unstable areas like the Persian Gulf and Middle East. In this sense the discussions regarding the entry of Egypt into the SCO as a full member is aimed at expanding the SCO’s positive influence even as far away as North Africa.

Russia, China and Iran are laying down the foundations for developments that will make the US irrelevant in its struggle to extend its unipolar moment. Combining the population of the Eurasian continent with the demographic and economic growth of these areas, it is not too difficult to understand how, in the space of just over two decades, the area stretching from Portugal to China, which includes dozens of nations of all latitudes and longitudes that extend from the Arctic regions of the Russian Federation to the Indian sea or the Persian Gulf, will be the central pivot around which the global economy will revolve. The combination of land and sea trade corridors will make the Eurasian continent the world's core, not only in terms of production but also in terms of trade and consumption, due to the increase of wealth of the middle-class areas of the world.

In a strategic vision that historically incorporates decades of planning, Tehran, Moscow and Beijing have fully understood that stability is the primary objective to be achieved in order to effectively promote economic development that benefits all the nations involved. In Asia, ASEAN has begun to have a less belligerent attitude towards China, although Beijing continues to ensure its strategic interests with the construction and militarization of artificial islands in the South China Sea. The Philippines’ president, Rodrigo Duterte, seems to understand the potential gains of multipolar cooperation, and the path followed by his country in recent months forges a path for all other Asian nations, especially following the abandonment of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) project by Washington. It remains to be seen what role the old European continent can play while still being shackled to the American strategy that is focused on isolating Russia, China and Iran, committed to advancing Washington's global hegemony at cost, even if it involves committing economic suicide, as can be seen in Ukraine with the sanctions against the Russian Federation.

One should not rule out a future change in direction in Europe as a direct result of failed policies that for too long have genuflected before American interests at the expense of the interests of European citizens. It is not accidental that many parties considered populist and nationalist have every intention of turning to the East and pursuing cooperation that for too long has been denied by the stupidity of Western elites.

China, Russia and Iran appear to have every intention of accelerating the project of global cooperation and show no intention of shutting the doors to new players from outside Eurasia, especially in an increasingly globalized and interconnected world. Just take a look at the links of the People's Republic of China with the development projects in South America to understand how the scope of these projects aim to include all nations without exception. This is the foundation on which the new multipolar world order is based, and sooner or later the American and European elites will understand this. The dilemma for Western elites lies in their diminished role in the future international order: no longer will the US and Europe be the lone protagonists but actors who are part of an international cast. The unipolar international order is running out of time and the old world order is in crisis. Will Europeans and Americans be able to accept a role as co-protagonists, or will they reject inevitable historical change, condemning themselves in the process to oblivion?

Trump Deploys Dozens Of Judges To Battle Massive Backlog Of Deportation Cases

In response to the 'paralysis' facing immigration courts, dealing with over 500,000 pending cases, President Trump is deploying 50 judges to immigration detention facilities across the United States, according to two sources and a letter seen by Reuters.

As the Associated Press points out, there are 58 immigration courts in 27 states around the country with a total of 301 judges.  The problem, of course, is that those 301 judges already face a mountain of 534,000 pending immigration cases which is likely to balloon even higher under Trump's administration.

 
 

Of 374 authorized immigration judge positions, 301 are filled. Fifty more candidates are in various stages of the hiring process, which typically takes about a year, said Kathryn Mattingly, a spokeswoman for the Executive Office for Immigration Review.

 

In all, more than 534,000 cases were pending before immigration courts nationwide in February, according to a recent memo from Kelly.

The massive backlog means that processing errors are a common occurrence and ultimately just result in illegal immigrants getting a free pass to reside in the country even longer, which is unacceptable to President Trump, and as Reuters reports the Department of Justice is also considering asking judges to sit from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., split between two rotating shifts, to adjudicate more cases, the sources said. A notice about shift times was not included in the letter.

Two sources familiar with the Justice Department's plan said the department would ask more judges to volunteer for one or two month deployments at detention centers. If the department cannot find enough volunteers, the department would assign judges to detention centers, the sources said. Judges who volunteer for the first 50 deployments would be sent to detention centers in Adelanto, California; San Diego, Chicago and elsewhere, according to the letter.

Judges are employed by the Justice Department to oversee cases that determine if immigrants are given protections, such as asylum, or ordered deported. A handful of judges work from detention centers but most work from courts around the country.

Of course, as we noted previously, one way to relieve the court burden is to simply increase deportations without using the court system at all, a strategy that has the American Civil Liberties Union Immigrants' Rights Project, and the 1,000s of immigration lawyers that earn a living filing appeal after appeal, up in arms.

Advocates worry the Trump administration will increase the use of procedures that allow authorities to deport people without using the court system at all.

 

"Instead of actually trying to make the courts better, they just want to use them less, even though that obviously is deeply problematic from a due-process standpoint," said Omar Jadwat, director of the American Civil Liberties Union Immigrants' Rights Project.

 

Mehlman agrees the system is broken, but said advocacy groups and lawyers who keep filing new motions and appeals are part of the problem.

 

"They understand that time works to their benefit and that the longer you can drag this out, the more bites at the apple you can get, the greater the likelihood that you can find some plausible reason for remaining here in the United States," he said.

The Justice Department did not respond to a request for comment.

Gold In Uncertain Times: “The West Doesn’t Get It… They’ve Been Indoctrinated By Paper Money”

In this fascinating interview on RealVision TV, Grant Williams and Egon von Greyerz cover a very broad range of subjects from gold, wealth preservation to debt, interest rates, Brexit, the EU and much more.

The interview was recorded in London at the end of 2016 but the discussion is timeless and extremely relevant in regard to future events and risks.

The biggest risks ahead according to Egon is the global bond markets. He predicts rates going to very much higher levels like in the 1970s. That will lead to more money printing, faster currency debasement and the demise of the bond market.

Grant and Egon also discuss that in every period of panic and crisis combined with economic mismanagement, which we are seeing today, gold has always acted as insurance. The setup is now perfect for gold to act to protect wealth against the coming problems in financial markets and the world economy…"the Indians know this, the Chinese know this but the West doesn't understand because they have been indoctrinated by paper money…"

As inflation rises institutions will be obliged to hold gold as a hedge. Since gold production is coming down substantially over the next 8 years there will be less gold available. No one will trust paper gold. This will lead to major upward pressure in the price of physical gold. Future increases in demand can only be satisfied at much higher prices.

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Full interview below: One of the most respected names in the gold market, Egon von Greyerz illuminates the discussion on the long term trend for the precious metal, against the current climate.

Source: GoldSwitzerland.com

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Real Vision: Raoul Pal and Grant Williams created Real Vision which is great financial video-on-demand service with over 500 in-depth interviews with the world’s sharpest independent analysts, fund managers, geopolitical strategists, economists and investors. Free from groupthink, advertising or bias, Real Vision presents its viewers with the very best economic information and financial insight available and then allows them to make up their own minds, and profit from knowledge.

As Millions Of Venezuelans Try To Flee The Country They Run Into A Problem

While shortages of basic foods, medicines, and toilet paper may be a major societal problem, the people of Venezuela face an even more existential problem: the nation now lacks the materials to meet the soaring demand for new passports – making it almost impossible to leave the socialist utopia.

"People used to move to Venezuela from all over the Americas, Europe and Asia and now they are all trying to leave," Sonia Schott, the former Washington, D.C., correspondent for Venezuelan news network Globovisión, told Fox News.

While estimates of how many passport requests the socialist government received last year vary from between 1.8 million to 3 million, only 300,000 of the elusive documents were doled out.

 

Everyday, hundreds of people line up outside the passport agency, known as Saime, in the capital of Caracas in the hopes of obtaining one.

 

It’s an ironic, and yet sad situation, for a country that used to be one of Latin America’s wealthiest and one that was used to seeing people flock to, not away from.

Tomás Páez – author of “The Voice of the Venezuelan Diaspora” – told Bloomberg that since Chávez took power in 1999 nearly 2 million Venezuelans have fled the country and hundreds of thousands are marking their time until they obtains the funds and the passport that will allow them to leave.

Maduro has acknowledged the issue of the chronic shortages in passports and last week launched a new “online” option that will rush a passport to customers within 72 hours for about double the price of waiting in line. The website, however, has crashed numerous times and it is unclear how many passports have been expedited through this process. Saime has stated that the backup in processing passport applications is because the agency lacks enough “materials,” but did not specify what that means. Observers say that while the government may not be able to afford the paper to make the passport. Paper products in the country, including toilet paper, are in short supply in Venezuela. But skeptics think the Maduro government may also be trying to keep people from leaving the beleaguered nation.

“People with the means to get out want to, but the problem is you need a passport and you can’t get it,” Cynthia Arnson, the director of the Latin American Program at the Woodrow Wilson Center told Fox News.

 

“It’s kind of an excuse by the Venezuelan government that they don’t have materials, because they know the real reason people want a passport is to leave the country.”

Most of Venezuela’s 30 million resident, however, don’t have that kind of money as the monthly minimum wage in the country comes to less than $30 a month on the black market.

Trump Wall – How Exactly?

By Chris at www.CapitalistExploits.at

Market dislocations occur when financial markets, operating under stressful conditions, experience large widespread asset mispricing.

Welcome to this week’s edition of “World Out Of Whack” where every Wednesday we take time out of our day to laugh, poke fun at and present to you absurdity in global financial markets in all its glorious insanity.

While we enjoy a good laugh, the truth is that the first step to protecting ourselves from losses is to protect ourselves from ignorance. Think of the “World Out Of Whack” as your double thick armour plated side impact protection system in a financial world littered with drunk drivers.

Selfishly we also know that the biggest (and often the fastest) returns come from asymmetric market moves. But, in order to identify these moves we must first identify where they live.

Occasionally we find opportunities where we can buy (or sell) assets for mere cents on the dollar – because, after all, we are capitalists.

Join the INSIDER membership and find out what we’re doing with our own money… targeting asymmetric investment opportunities

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In this week’s edition of the WOW: Trump Wall – How Exactly?

How many people voted for “Herr Von Trump” because he promised to build a “great and beautiful wall”?

Likely the same folks that fervently believe stable jobs at shuttered coal mines and steel factories are actually coming back (they’re not).

He made it a pillar of his campaign – the beautiful wall, that is. Which makes me wonder about his use of speech. I mean, I know I’m going to be accused of nitpicking but I’ve seen a lot of walls, none I’d describe as beautiful. Charlize Theron is beautiful. Walls are not.

Understandably the folks south of the border got testy. Surprisingly, they don’t appreciate being called rapists and drug pushers:

Even the former Mexican Grand Mufti honcho got stuck in.

And Nieto’s turn:

“Mexico will not pay for that wall, we will pay for ladders though,” Nieto said. “Trump can do whatever he wants, he can spend as much money as he wants, but the fact is, so many of our people have friends and family in the United States. And unfortunately for these people they cannot afford a visa or citizenship or cannot wait the long delays in getting one, so ladders are the answer.”

Trump wasn’t backing down.

Football hooligans couldn’t do it better. This is the best these countries have to offer, folks. God help us all!

It’s enough to drive a man to drink. I’m sorely tempted to pop down to the local liquor store for a litre of Kalashnikov Vodka – guaranteed to blow my head clean off.

Still , I’ve become accustomed to dealing with the fact the world is littered with the dullest and most useless people steering the ships. But what’s more concerning is why nobody has asked the obvious questions.

Meatheads never ask the obvious questions. Mental arithmetic requiring independent thought being something strongly discouraged.

What sort of wall? Concrete? Wire fencing? If so, how much?

How will the materials get there? Take a look, there are no roads in much of the territory.

Who builds it? Mexicans?

What about housing for what will have to be a sizeable workforce? What about water, food, medical supplies?

How high? Not high enough and a USD10 ladder trumps (pun intended) a multi billion dollar wall.

What about tunnels under it? Smugglers, after all, have been tunneling for years where the wall already exists. Reminds me of Einstein’s definition of insanity. Why would they stop what already works?

Then there’s the little issue of this being 2,000km of wall. That’s an awful lot of wall. Wall that has to go through private land which begs the question. What about imminent domain?

What about the environment protection agency and the mating habits of the endangered red-eared slider?

Has any of this been thought about? Did voters, in their desperate desire to rid themselves of the sclerotic, nepotistic, basilisk and the establishment she represents, bother to ask themselves these questions?

The US Department of Homeland Theatre Security estimate the wall will cost USD21.6 billion and take more than 3.5 years to build. Trump doesn’t think so.

‘It’ll get done so quickly your head will spin.’

Guess we’ll see. Anyway, considering government estimates I think it’s safe to double both of these figures – USD44 Billion and 7 years sounds about right then. That’s bigger than the GDP of Slovenia, it’s twice that of Iceland, and 3 times that of Jamaica. Personally, I’d rather just buy Jamaica, lie in the sun and collect all the rum revenues while stashing a little in the cellar, of course. But then, I’m not running the mess show.

I wonder: Did Trump think through the fact that the US has a pact with Mexico on shared water rights? Did he know one existed before making this part of his campaign? Annoyingly, he’s failed to brief me but I have my suspicions he didn’t.

The same report estimates that this agreement alone could bring the cost from USD11 million per mile to USD15 million per mile in one area.

This is the Rio Grande. Perhaps many Americans haven’t been down here or thought about this much. You gonna build a wall here?

This doozy sits in the report, too:

“It also does not account for major physical barriers, like mountains, in areas where it would not be feasible to build.”

Take another look at the Rio Grande. This, folks, isn’t merely a 2x on opex estimation. Just sayin’…

So what’s up with Trump? Can he not do arithmetic? Does he simply speak like most politicians (lie)? Or does he simply shoot from the lip.

Has he looked at the fact that more Mexicans are leaving than entering the United States?

That a Mexican border wall is impractical, impossible, ludicrously expensive, and will create (rather than solve) the problems it’s purported to solve but that won’t stop Washington from doing what Washington does: stupid things.

The Question is…

Trump Wall Poll

Cast your vote here and also see what others think

– Chris

“Walls in people’s heads are sometimes more durable than walls made of concrete blocks.” ? Willy Brandt, Erinnerungen

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Caught On Video: Man Brutally Beaten In Lower Manhattan As People Walk By

A man was brutally beaten on a sidewalk in Manhattan’s Lower East Side in broad daylight on Friday afternoon as pedestrians walked by while the entire attack caught on camera. The incident took place around 2:45 p.m on Friday and NY Police is searching for two suspects.

The police said two men chased a 24-year-old man north on Orchard Street towards Stanton Street. The men caught up to the victim in front of 156 Orchard Street and began to punch and kick him multiple times in his head, face and body, according to NY1. The two men then fled in a black livery vehicle.

An owner of a nearby gallery, interviewed by Pix11, was stunned not so much at the violence, but at how pedestrians simply walked by the scene of the crime with nobody offering to help or stop the brutal beating.

The victim was transported to the hospital in serious condition.

The NYPD asks anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime stoppers website at WWW.NYPDCRIMESTOPPERS.COM or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577.

Manhattan Luxury Housing In Freefall: J.Crew CEO Slashes Tribeca Loft Price By Over 40%

While in recent weeks we have documented various instances of sharp pullbacks in the ultra-luxury segment of New York’s housing market (here, here and here), a dramatic example of just how sharp the drop in the high-end housing segment has been comes courtesy of Mansion Global which reports that J. Crew CEO Mickey Drexler has slashed a whopping $15 million from the asking price of his Tribeca loft after it languished on the market for close to two years, unable to find a buyer.

The 72-year-old fashion boss’s 6,226-square-foot spread has just reappeared for sale with a $19.95 million price tag, way below the original $35 million it was first listed for in April 2015, according to listing records. Between its original listing in 2015 and today, there were several other price cuts, with the loft last appearing on the market for $22.5 million last August. That listing was removed entirely in January, only to reappear for $2.5 million less.

Listing images reveal the five-bedroom pad’s stylish interiors designed by French architect Thierry Despont, including arched windows, original columns and industrial doors, par for the course for what one would expect from a fashion industry bigwig. The building located on Franklin Street is a boutique, 12-unit, full-service condominium with 24-hour doorman and is just down the block from Taylor Swift’s Tribeca pad.

Even with the hefty haircut, Drexler stands to make a nearly $6 million profit should he find a buyer: property records show that 140 FRANKLIN STREET LLC paid $14.3 million for the apartment in 2012. PropertyShark’s records link the LLC to J. Crew’s headquarters in New York.